Re: Additional roles for technical writers

Subject: Re: Additional roles for technical writers
From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 25 Dec 2014 06:35:00 -0500

Yeah, "user interface redesign". That one usually involves treading heavily on someone's toes.
Let's see...
- "I'm sorry, but the user interface is the responsibility of the developer." (We won that battle.)
- "Right, it won't do X, but the customer won't WANT to do X." (We lost, but customers rejected the product.)
- "Stop talking to my developers. I'm the manager. All communication goes through ME." (Explicitly contrary to company policy. Manager ousted.)
- "The problem is [the writer] doesn't understand the software. Oh, wait a minute. Yes, she's right. That's a design error."


On Thu, 25 Dec 2014 03:01:39 -0500, Mike Starr <mike -at- writestarr -dot- com> wrote:

I've done most of the things Chris and Erica itemized but a few that haven't cropped up are:
mentoring
user interface redesign
testing utility development
creating bills of materials for documentation assemblies (back when there were individual manual sections in 3-ring binders)
building custom displays for trade shows
template development
internal resource for Microsoft Word
VBA development for document automation in Microsoft Word
critic at large

However, many of these functions weren't things I was asked to do... in a lot of cases, I saw that they needed to be done and just went ahead and did 'em. In other cases, I opened my big mouth in a meeting and said something needed to be done and ended up being the one with the task. I generally realize before I say something that it could land on me and when I do speak up it's partially because I'm either willing or anxious to do it because I know I'll do it the right way. That's been the case a number of times with user interface design... "if you're so smart, let's see if you can come up with something better."

Best Regards,

Mike
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Additional roles for technical writers: From: Craig Cardimon
Re: Additional roles for technical writers: From: Mike Starr

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